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Men’s Basketball Edges Trinity, 65-59, in OT

Springfield, Mass. — January 26, 2009John Strawson scored 18 points and added 11 rebounds to lead the Springfield College men’s basketball team to a 65-59 overtime non-conference victory over Trinity College this evening at Springfield College’s Blake Arena. With the win, Springfield raises its record to 9-9, while Trinity falls to 5-11.

It was Springfield’s second win in a row.

The game certainly had its ebbs and flows in the first half. Springfield got off to a 12-3 lead after the first 6:02. Junior guard Ryan Blackmon (Stamford, Conn.) scored eight of those first 12 points for SC. The Bantams, however, would close it to two on three occasions, the last with 2:12 to go on a lay-up by sophomore guard Brian Ford (Bronx,N.Y.). At that juncture, the Pride led 26-24.

Springfield then scored the half’s final seven points — on a free throw by junior forward Pat Crean (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.), two free throws and a lay-up by freshman forward Evan Christner (Voorheesville, N.Y.), and a floater by freshman forward Anthony Epps (Norwalk, Conn.).

In the second half, Trinity outscored Springfield, 13-5, to start it off, thus taking a 39-38 lead with 11:53 left on a jumper by senior guard Paul Rowe (Brooklyn, N.Y.). The score was tied at 47-all with 8:26 left when sophomore guard Salah Abdo (Chealsea, Mass.) hit a pair of free throws. Trinity then scored the next five points to take a 52-47 lead with 5:43 left.

When Abdo hit a 3-pointer with 3:57 left, Trinity led by four, 55-51. But Springfield managed to score the last four points in regulation play — a free throw by Blackmon with 3:35 left, a free throw by Crean with 2:55 left, and a huge power lay-up by Strawson, a 6-7 center from Torrington, Conn., with 36 seconds left. Both teams had opportunities to win it, the last by Trinity on an out-bounds play underneath their own basket, but failed to convert.

In the overtime, Strawson made another power lay-up with 3:57 left, and that gave SC the led for good. Strawson followed up with two free throws with 3:19 left, When Rowe made two free throws for Trinity with 1:53 left, the Bantams closed it to within three at 62-59 But Strawson made two more free throws with 20 seconds remaining. And freshman center Ryan Coburn (West Warwick, R.I.) added one more with 8 seconds left.

Besides Strawson’s 18, Crean and Blackmon each finished with 13. Abdo led Trinity with 15. Rowe finished with 14.